How to Make a Bushcraft Knife [With 8 Effective Steps]

The bushcraft knives are usually used in the wild nature and landscape. People use it not just for surviving in the wild but for thriving off the wilderness and for camping purposes. These types of knives are well-known for their high sharpness and durability because of the sturdy built-materials and building process. 

You will love to have one of them in your collection as it will be helpful for you in many different ways. But you probably will be lacking proper knowledge about how to make a bushcraft knife. To make a strong bushcraft knife, you will need to follow all the steps properly, one after the other.

Step by Step Process on How to Make Bushcraft Knife

The making process of a bushcraft knife requires some heavy machines and other equipment. With the proper equipment and built-materials along with basic knowledge, you can make a bushcraft knife on your own. The whole process is:

Step 01: Picking carbon steel and making the knife design

The first thing you need to do is find the best quality stainless or carbon steel to make a bushcraft knife. After finding one, you will have to set-up a design. You can make the design on your own, or you can make the design from someone else.

Step 02: Putting the design on the steel 

After finalizing the knife design on paper, the next step will be to get it on the steel. Place the knife-shaped paper on the stainless steel and make a visible trace on the steel following the knife-shaped paper. You can do this by tracing the design onto the metal with a permanent marker, and make sure the marking is visible to you. 

Step 03: Knife-shaping the steel and cutting out the rough

bushcraft knife cutting wood

Get a steel cutter after that, and cut the stainless steel following the marked area. Cut it properly until the simple steel gets the blade shape as designed before. The cutting will most probably not meet the perfect shaping the first time. 

So, you need to find the rough ages of the blade and then perfectly try to finish those ages with the cutter.

Step 04: Grinding the Blade

When the cutting and shaping will be completed, there comes the turn for grinding that knife-shaped steel. The grinding will make that steel look like a knife step by step. The grinding process should be perfect to make the edge of the blade sharp enough to become a bushcraft knife

The whole knife-shaped steel will get the proper knife look with this grinding process. 

Step 05: Heat Treating the Knife

The steel blade remains comparatively soft, as you can give it the desired shape easily with cutting and grinding. But when you will use it as a knife, it should stay strong that you can do all the tough jobs with it. To make the blade strong, you will need to heat-treat it.

You can use the Acetylene torch with a rosebud nozzle to heat the blade. You should heat the knife to 1500-degree-Celcius until it becomes red hot, and then put it in the ice-water mixture to cool down. The whole process will make the blade strong enough to deal with all the toughest situations.

Step 06: Handle Scaling and Drilling the Pin Holes

For the handle, you should select a pair of strong oak tree logs. Give the small oak logs a primary shape that the blade design suits with them. Put those two logs on both sides of the blade. Then make a trace on both of the logs according to the blade design, and make sure the marks are visible.

Put the knife in between the handle-shaped logs. Then drill the necessary holes for the pin, which will keep the logs and the knife together. Give the handle proper shape with the blade by cutting it with any woodcutter or small chainsaw.

Step 07: Putting the handle pins and refining the handle

When the pinholes will be created, put the necessary pins in that place and tighten them. You will have to cut the extra parts of those pins with an iron-cutter and grind the pins a bit to keep these in the level with the handle.

Then comes the part of refining the handle of the blade. You can use the grinder to refine the handle and make sure you are doing it properly. You can use the sand-papers to further refine the handle and continue doing it until you are fully satisfied.

Step 08: Finishing 

When all the processes will be done, you will have to make the proper finishing of the knife and blade. Wipe the handle and the blade with several coats of Walnut oil. It will clean the knife and the knife-handle and will make them shine. After that, sharpen the newly-made bushcraft knife with a diamond sharpening system.

By following all these steps, hopefully, you will be able to build a perfect bushcraft knife. This bushcraft knife will most probably cut through tree branches, ropes, wood, and tree limbs, and serve you better for ages. You can make a leather cover for your knife to keep it safe if you want.

FAQ’s: For a Bushcraft Knife

What is the perfect blade size for a bushcraft knife?

The blade size of a bushcraft knife should remain between 4 to 9 inches.  But it would be nice to have an average blade-length of 5 inches in the bushcraft knives

Which wood should be used as the bushcraft knife handle?

You should use the logs of the oak tree to make the handle of the bushcraft knife. The oak tree handle can last long and give a better grip to the hands.

Final Words

A perfect bushcraft knife will help you in camping and caving purposes alongside dealing with the tough nature. This highly sharp knife is capable of cutting through the tree branches, ropes, wood, and tree limbs. It is also capable of skinning the animals and digging through the soil.

If you know how to make a bushcraft knife, you will be able to build it on your own with fewer expenses. This bushcraft knife will keep you safe by giving you an extra edge of advantage in tough terrain and hard conditions.

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